Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – How Many Parking Citations are Issued Every Year at BART? Traffic Signals in Clayton, FasTrak + MORE

November 30, 2015 14:00 pm · 26 comments

Traffic Jammin’ with Janis Mara – Every Monday at 2pm on

TRAFFIC JAMMER: Greetings, all! This column is for everyone who negotiates the highways and public transit of the Bay Area. It runs every Monday at 2pm and answers your commuting and transportation questions.

Email your questions to

COMMUTER: Is BART good about ticketing riders who do not pay for parking? Do they have a team of employees that go around enforcing this? Do many riders not pay for parking, and how well is pay for parking enforced?


TRAFFIC JAMMER: The Jammer asked Alicia Trost, BART’s communications department manager, and the answer arrived faster than a speeding BART train.

“Yes, lots are enforced and we ticket,” Trost said. “BART Police currently issue about 70,000 citations a year. Citations are issued for 20 types of violations, with fines ranging from $35 to $275. The BART General Fund realizes $1.6 million a year from parking citations. BART gets $28.4 million a year in parking revenue from those who pay for parking.”

COMMUTER: A (FasTrak) transponder is unnecessary. Haven’t used it since I signed up 2 years ago.


TRAFFIC JAMMER: MartinezDad isn’t the only Claycordian who says he doesn’t display a FasTrak transponder when crossing Bay Area bridges, but still does just fine. A California Highway Patrol officer wrote the Jammer to shed some light on the subject:

COMMUTER: In regards to your response to the FasTrak transponder, they are required to be visible. Per the vehicle code 23302(a)(2):

“Except as specified in paragraph (3), if a transponder or other electronic toll payment device is used to pay tolls or other charges due, the device shall be located in or on the vehicle in a location so as to be visible for the purpose of enforcement at all times when the vehicle is located on the vehicular crossing or toll highway. …”

This is helpful for law enforcement officers to see if a FasTrak device is in fact being used. 

—A local Chippie

TRAFFIC JAMMER: If the CHP thinks it’s a good idea, then it is!

COMMUTER: Can you ask the traffic engineer who covers Clayton about the light at Indianhead Way and Oakhurst in Clayton?  Lately the pedestrian crossing is triggering and the light goes through a very long cycle because of the crosswalk signal.

Why is it triggering even when there is no pedestrian or golf cart pushing the button? There is not a lot of ped/golf course traffic and this light is really slowing down through traffic on Oakhurst.


TRAFFIC JAMMER: The Jammer contacted Rick Angrisani, Clayton’s City Engineer. The engineer told the Jammer, The County Signal Maintenance Department, which maintains Clayton’s signals, believes the problem may be caused by a stuck pushbutton. They will send a technician out to check and repair the problem as soon as possible.”

Normally, the county gets there the same day and completes the repair; rkr88edmo and other Claycordians, could you let the Jammer know if it’s taken care of by now?

TRAFFIC JAMMER: That’s it for this week – see you next Monday. Be sure to cruise by at 2pm for more traffic intelligence. Remember, whether you drive, walk, bike or hop Amtrak, BART or AC Transit, Traffic Jammer Janis Mara is here to answer your questions.

Send your questions to

BDuns November 30, 2015 at 3:43 PM

I still pay for parking at Concord bart every day……but the parking tickets don’t seem to be enforceable. I had 3 unpaid bart tickets on my old car over the years, never paid them…but never had any problems with registration or selling may car. Concord PD parking tickets are another story 😉

Not sure if that’s still the case and don’t care to take the risk

RunnerDope November 30, 2015 at 4:01 PM


Could you check with RayK and his crack team about the light at Concord Blvd and 6th St. It’s back to the way it used to be. After 7 PM, traffic on Concord can back up to 20 cars if there are any cars on 6th. Concord should have priority since it has much more traffic.

jtkatec November 30, 2015 at 4:17 PM

I got a parking citation once in the car pool lot once from an Officer Jorgensen. The ticket stated I didn’t have another passenger. The ticket was written at 9:00 am. I parked at 6:30 am.

Protested it and the reply was that there was debris in the front seat so no one could have been sitting there. (The box of books was in my passenger’s lap and was placed in the seat as he left the seat). I wrote another letter and so did my passenger, pointing out the officer did not actually witness my parking so how could they prove we were not carpooling.

They got around to revoking the ticket.

Thanks, Officer Jorgensen, I hope you’re still not writing tickets where you haven’t witnessed the event.

anon November 30, 2015 at 5:08 PM

They are enforceable- those must have fallen thru the cracks for some reason- BART is a real PD

Bob Foo November 30, 2015 at 5:10 PM

It takes a real idiot to intentionally park illegally. It takes a real jerk to then not pay those tickets.

@1, you sound like a complete loser. Handle your business like an adult.

john Pope November 30, 2015 at 5:27 PM

My vehicles are registered with FasTrak, so when their transponder fails, they check the license plate, see that I have an account, and deduct the toll. I could simply leave the device at home and still pay my tolls, so why do I have to bother with it?

john Pope November 30, 2015 at 5:33 PM

I have to cross Concord Blvd. at North 6th around 7 PM and like the traffic signal just fine. Before that time, I can wait for more than 3 minutes at the red light, even when there are no vehicles in view on Concord Blvd.

RunnerDope – It’s not all about you. Your green light lasts quite awhile already, while the cross traffic light goes from green to red very quickly. Deal with it, whiner.

Billy November 30, 2015 at 5:34 PM

Janis – can you have the “powers that be” check the signal situation from Salvio turning left onto East Street toward Willow Pass, that then has a signal at Willow Pass. The light at East and Willow Pass is never long enough for the cars turning left from Salvio to get through. without backing up. This has been a problem for years and has never been resolved This is the area that now has the vacant lot bordering Salvio/East/Willow/Port Chicago.


@Pope November 30, 2015 at 5:50 PM

You are correct, the receiver is now a thing of the past. There is no necessary need for an ugly tracker in your window if you have your license plate on your account. I use the bridge daily, with different cars, and have had no issues with not having the tracker.

@John Pope November 30, 2015 at 5:50 PM

1) Because the law says so.
2) Because the license plate reader is a backup method, not the primary. It’s like saying, “If I run over a pedestrian and somebody gets my license number, why do I have to stop?”

TIFOKCIS November 30, 2015 at 6:20 PM

The only person I know who not only doesn’t have FasTrak also refuses to get FasTrak because he doesn’t want the government to track him.

Yes he is a democrat voting union man.

mombearto4 November 30, 2015 at 7:04 PM

Well, I don’t get FasTrak because I only use a toll bridge 2-3 times a year on average, and it’s not worth carrying a balance on the FasTrak. If there was a way to have it be like my Clipper Card and only add the money I need when I need it, I would use it. But I suppose the float on all the money they want me to keep on deposit on my account pays the expense of having it.

Maybe a credit card swiper thing with a service fee added might be a good idea, too.

trent blase November 30, 2015 at 7:06 PM

FasTrak can definitely be used to track you… that’s how they know the travel times you see on the freeway displays (“15 min to Walnut Creek”).

Of course, the cell phone is a much easier method of tracking you, so I’m sure your friend takes out his battery when not making a call.

Pet Peeve November 30, 2015 at 8:23 PM

O wise Jammer, following up from our emails convos, the barrier at the Safeway (707 Contra Costa Blvd) is down again and I almost had a head on with someone turning right into the gas area where the street is marked as a cement island ( have also seen 3 close calls in 2 days). I told Safeway CS, they said they would take care of it, but nothing yet. What it needs is a K rail to deter scofflaws.

john Pope November 30, 2015 at 10:03 PM

#10 – not even close as an analogy! Harming someone without seeking to aid them and letting an automated system handle a transaction are two vastly different things! I sure as hell hope you can see the difference! My plates are like bar codes. Who’s harmed if the computer system does the checking and the billing? It’s doing the billing anyway. Because it’s the law simply doesn’t cut it. Are you really so mindless that you do as you’re told, without considering its necessity? You might want to consider thinking for yourself every now and then.

Marlene November 30, 2015 at 10:22 PM

@John Pope

I got a ticket for toll evasion since I didn’t have my Fastrak transponder installed and a motorcylce cop pulled me over.

steve November 30, 2015 at 10:31 PM

Janis should ask Alicia Trost how much longer BART plans to screw over Concord residents.

200% increase in parking fares couple with the subtraction of trains all within one year.

Mr.Wonderful November 30, 2015 at 11:52 PM

Just a FYI, the pedestrian crossing button does not work at the intersection of treat blvd and san simion no matter how hard you push it.

Tree Farm November 30, 2015 at 11:56 PM

Haha! Parking tickets….. I personally wrote 7k parking tickets my first year as a “meter maid” with Martinez Police. Never understood how people can make such a fuss over their parking irresponsibility.

H December 1, 2015 at 5:35 AM

$30m in parking fees/fines per year! And that will go up in December as parking fees go up. And cars are still getting broken into while parked at Bart. Seems there is enough money there for some security.

Anon777 December 1, 2015 at 5:48 AM

I only cross Bay Area bridges a handful of times over a year period, but I still have Fastrak. When I see the back-up of people waiting in line to pay, I just laugh at the stupidity. Also, we have 5 cars and only two transponders – come and get me Fastrak Police!!

Big Kahuna December 1, 2015 at 10:40 AM

While on the subject of Fastrak, Why are there so few Fastrak lanes at the Bay Bridge toll plaza on the weekends? Seems like traffic would flow much faster if there are more than 3 dedicated Fastrak Lanes, and prioroity at the metering lights.

nytemuvr December 1, 2015 at 11:13 AM

Let me get this straight…If I’m in the HOV Fastrack Lane by myself, pulling a trailer and my license plate fell off the front of my car……………………

wc December 1, 2015 at 1:03 PM

By law, the transponder must be displayed…but it doesn’t have to have a battery in it.

your neighbor December 1, 2015 at 2:25 PM

I was told specifically by someone at Fastrak that as long as my account was valid and in good standing that I didn’t even need to have the transponder in my car. I only have one car and it is linked to my Fastrak. I leave mine in the glove box, but don’t take it out when I cross.

Also, the Fastrak lanes at the Bay Bridge are a joke. Why not do what they have at the Benicia bridge where it is one side or the other.

Hubby Jo December 6, 2015 at 11:33 AM

Janis, I believe your assertion about the right-on-red from both right turn lanes is surprisingly correct. There are some intersections in Unincorporated Alameda County where it is only legal to make a right on red from the rightmost lane and it is clearly marked.

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